Chicken Liver Parfait

, from Issue #12. August, 2015
Photography by Nick Tresidder.
Chicken Liver Parfait

Delightful and smooth in texture this Chicken Liver Parfait is best served with a piece of crusty fresh bread or brioche. 


600 grams fresh chicken livers
200 grams unsalted butter, softened
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
2 rashers streaky bacon, finely diced
¼ cup brandy, Madeira or port
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ cup cream

125 ml late harvest Riesling or Sauterne
1½ leaves gelatine


Parfait: Clean the livers well and trim out any sinew.

Melt 50 grams of the butter in a sauté pan and gently cook the livers until firm on the outside but still pink in the middle. Remove with a slotted spoon and cool. Add another 30 grams of butter to the same pan and sauté the shallots, garlic, thyme and the bacon until very soft. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a food processor.

Increase the heat and pour in the brandy, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan. Tip the contents into the food processor. Add the cooled livers and the remaining soft butter and blend until smooth. Add the nutmeg and the cream, season and pulse just to combine.

Push the mixture through a fine sieve with the back of a large spoon, discarding any bits left in the sieve. Spoon into a serving dish. Cover with plastic wrap, pushing it down onto the surface and refrigerate until firm. A thin layer of cooled, clarified butter can be poured over the surface of the parfait to seal or top with the following jelly.

Jelly: Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for a few minutes. Warm the wine in a small saucepan then remove from the heat. Squeeze the gelatine leaves to remove excess water and add to the warm wine. Stir to dissolve. Cool completely then pour over the parfait and refrigerate until set.

Serve the parfait with toasted bread or brioche and your favorite fruit paste or chutney. Makes about 1½ cups of parfait

Leaf gelatine is easier to use than its granulated alternative as it dissolves more easily and does not ‘lump’ in the way the granules can. Generally speaking, six leaves will set 500mls of liquid lightly, use nine sheets for a firm set. Available from specialty food stores.